By William Ukpe
About 50% of Nigerians are willing to leave Nigeria for a better economic future abroad, an increase of nearly 20% since 2014.
The World Bank disclosed this in its report titled, ‘Of Roads Less Travelled: Assessing the Potential for Migration to Provide Overseas Jobs for Nigeria’s Youth’, published on its website this week.
The report suggests Nigeria ranked 3rd highest in West Africa behind Liberia (70%) and Sierra Leone (60%) of responders who would move permanently to another country. The least ranked country in the report was Niger Republic at 10%.
The World Bank stated that young Nigerians were increasingly opting for irregular migration routes to realize their hopes for a better life. “With rising migratory pressures created by poor employment conditions, Nigerians are increasingly choosing to migrate through irregular means,” the Bank stated.
It added that Nigerians represented the largest group of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa arriving in Europe in 2016 and 2017 as nearly 40,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy in 2016 with over 90% of those arriving via sea routes.
“A larger share of Nigerian migrants arriving to Italy were women (32 percent) compared to migrants from the rest of SSA (24 percent),” the Washington-based bank stated.
It also revealed that while the number of asylum seekers from Nigeria has declined in recent years, this does not translate as decreased demand for migration from Nigeria. The drop in migration levels from Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries to Europe is a result of tighter border control policies supported by the EU in transit countries such as Libya and Niger.
“However, the underlying economic and demographic factors that create migratory pressures are unlikely to subside in the near future, with other potential irregular routes being reported through Sudan and Chad to Libya” the Bretton Woods institution added.
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Nairametrics reported earlier that the World Bank stated that Nigeria is facing an acute jobless crisis that puts pressure on irregular migration for Nigerians who are seeking to leave the country. The report revealed that between 2014 and 2020, Nigeria’s working-age population increased from 102 million to 122 million, growing at an average rate of approximately 3% per year.